In a research report released today, "Politics of Judicial Independence in Malawi " Freedom House examines judicial independence in Malawi, including the scope of judicial power, differentiation and separation of powers, internal institutional safeguards, transparency, and external institutional support.
After two weeks of sporadic rioting and legal wrangling, Malawi inaugurated its fifth president on June 2 in Blantyre. Although he received just 36.4 percent of the vote, Arthur Peter Mutharika’s victory has now been accepted by all sides, including the incumbent, Joyce Banda. The last two months have been a political rollercoaster for Mutharika, but he must now turn to the uphill battle of healing divisions and creating the consensus he will need to govern effectively.
A majority of Americans see democracy in the U.S. as weak and getting weaker, according to a national survey released by The Democracy Project, a joint initiative of Freedom House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
Over the last twenty years political conflicts substantial and minor have arrived at the doorstep of the Malawian judiciary. The Parliament has been dysfunctional and unstable; the Executive has pushed the democratic limits of their power, whereas in contrast, the judiciary has represented a core stabilizing institution for Malawi’s fledgling democracy.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
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